We had a most enjoyable evening, although the Hadrian exhibition was quite crowded. As it was a Members’ evening, everyone was looking properly and listening to the whole of their audio guides. Being frivolous, I hadn’t hired one. Emperor Hadrian really was the image of Rory McGrath. Or, correctly speaking, the other way round. We were all quietly feeling our earlobes for an unexpected horizontal crease (I can’t vouch for R McG’s ears, I don’t suppose the resemblance stretches that far).
It took 15 or 20 minutes to get in, because the first people had to get through the first room of course, and then when they were in the second room the next people – oh, you get it. There were two chaps in front of us; the younger one, who had spectacularly curly hair, closely cut at the sides but untrammelled on top, was quite lively. He kept nudging and touching his older companion and chattering excitedly. At one point, the nudging got too much and the other man twitched him away. he retreated in mock alarm and Older Chap stuck out the tip of his tongue.
A fine and delightful evening and Ro and I have the same taste in overheard snippets of conversation, so we sniggered together at intervals. Dinner was so good I ate most of mine, and Ro finished anything I couldn’t. He was kind enough to say that the first amuse bouche, a creamy cabbage soup, tasted just like my soup, in a complimentary way, and added that I wouldn’t add the cream, but he prefers, for everyday dining, the lighter alternatives I use.
The next morning, I was up early because I needed to send someone a text before he left for work. Then I went out for coffee and papers. I was overtaken, as I went along the road, by five cyclists and no cars and in the next road by eight cyclists and three cars. I also entertained myself by noting the dog poos. Three, all laid by small dogs and one, although it was barely 7.30, already trodden in. Since it was right against the wall, I thought it would have been easier to miss than to hit. I decided to return by the canal path, the other side from where the boats are moored. There were about fifty steps down but only about twenty up. I’d never noticed that the road went down, but since the alternative was that the water went up, it must do. Several chaps had overnighted on the benches; five in fact. Two of them were asleep. It was lightly raining, but they were all sheltered by the trees. One was eating breakfast. I felt I should offer him my coffee, but then I’d have to go and buy coffee for everyone – yes you’re right, it would have been polite. I am sorry.
I went out again an hour later to go and buy stuff. This time, there was a tiny green dog poo. It really was not much bigger than a raisin and right in the middle of the pavement. I reflected that, if the dog’s owner couldn’t be bothered to pick it up, it would have been the least possible gesture of courtesy to toe it into the road. It really was unusually green.
When we went out again, it was raining. I had an umbrella, but it was a small one. I remembered to look in the cupboard by the front door and, indeed, Weeza and Phil had left a couple more brollies there. One was very large and marked with the name of Weeza’s one-time employers. I gave it to Ro and he held it over both of us.
I exchanged a text or two and settled in the nearest pub for our blogmeet.